DULUTH, GA – The Atlanta Gladiators, the affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Boston Bruins and American Hockey League’s Providence Bruins, announced the signing of veteran forward Michael Pelech for the 2020-2021 ECHL season today.
Atlanta head coach Jeff Pyle first mentioned on-ice attributes that the acquisition gives the team, saying “the addition of Pelech gives us a great two-way player, and one of the best face-off guys in the league.” Pyle continued, speaking on how Pelech “will be an upgrade to every part of our game and the guys are pumped to have him on our side. He is a big addition for our club.”
Michael is a 30-year-old forward from Toronto, Ontario. He played his first game in the ECHL in 2009, and has amassed 705 games played in the league over the ensuing eleven years. That mark leads active ECHL players and ranks fourth all-time. He has played for eight different teams and most recently spent time with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, suiting up for 135 games over the last two seasons. As the squad’s captain during the 2019-2020 season, Michael led Greenville in points (53) and assists (37) over 63 games played.
“I have heard great things about Atlanta as an organization,” Pelech said. “My conversations with Coach Pyle have been very positive and I love the direction the team is headed. I cannot wait to get the season started.”
The addition of Pelech gives the Gladiators one of the ECHL’s most productive and tenured players. He became the 28thplayer in league history to surpass the 500-point mark last season. The signing also creates a titanic tandem for Atlanta, as Michael (541) and team captain Derek Nesbitt (487) trail only former Gladiator Casey Pierro-Zabotel (543) in career points among active players.
“The addition of Michael to our roster should be seen as a major move by our fans and other teams,” Gladiators team president Jerry James noted. “Our entire organization is thrilled to welcome a player of his status and experience. He fits our system well and will make an immediate impact.”